Yesterday, we received a grocery delivery, including fresh whole milk from free-range cows. So, last evening, I made some fresh paneer! I could barely stop myself from eating it all, as is. It was citrusy, fresh, and utterly, deliciously, creamy! Somehow, I managed to control myself and stored it in the refrigerator and today, I set out to make some paneer bhurji.
If you want to try making some too, here’s what you will need:
1/2 pound paneer (for instructions on how to make it, go here; you could also buy some at Indian stores, but freshly made homemade paneer really is several orders of magnitude better than the store bought kind)
2-5 tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower oil or ghee (go here for my recipe) (if you use 4-5 tbsp of oil or ghee, the bhurji will taste better and have a better mouth-feel)
1 medium onion (ideally red; diced)
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)(optional)
2 green chillies (ideally, the slender, thai ones) or 1 habanero (chopped);
3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes (you can use more tomatoes if you like your bhurji a little more tangy and sweet) (diced)
Salt to taste
1-3 teaspoon red chilli powder (depending on how hot you want your bhurji to taste)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 lime or lemon (optional)
A few sprigs of coriander/cilantro (optional)
Rotis (for more on how to make rotis, go here; you could also use tortillas or buy pre-made rotis at an Indian store, but I wouldn’t recommend it).
- Take the Paneer and chop it up into little pieces. You can also process it in a food processor until it is broken up into fairly small bits.
- Place a frying pan on your stove and turn up the heat to medium-high. Add the oil/ghee to the pan.
- Once the oil seems hot (test it with one small onion piece) toss in the diced onions and sauté them until they are slightly browned.
- Reduce the heat to medium, throw the crushed garlic and chopped chillies into the pan, and sauté them, as well.
- Sprinkle the salt and all the masalas (red chilli, coriander, cumin, garam masala, and turmeric powders) into the pan. Stir the contents of the pan until the spices are well-distributed.
- Once the aromas of the spices begin to release (in about a minute), add the tomatoes, and mix everything in the pan.
- Place a lid on the pan and let the tomato-onion-spice mixture cook for a few minutes, until the oil separates from the mixture (stirring intermittently).
- Toss in the paneer chunks and stir well, breaking up the paneer in the pan even more as you stir.
- Cook until the paneer looks well cooked but still moist. You can taste it after a few minutes and decide whether or not you want it cooked some more. You should definitely cook it long enough for the oil to separate from the paneer-masala mixture.
- Take the pan off the heat. Squeeze some lime/lemon juice on the paneer bhurji, to taste; it will add a bit of tartness to the bhurji! You could also garnish the bhurji with some coriander/cilantro leaves. And enjoy!
Eat it with some rotis!
You could also roll it up in a chapati to make yourself a Kathi roll. Go here for instructions on how to do this.